tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 23, 2014 4:00am-6:01am EDT
>> analyze our political situation and hopefully leave here with a better outlook for tomorrow. sfwroo to have such a well of experience in this struggle is not the elders of our movement. of our party. when i was asked to give a speech honoring our elders, i was fearful of being someone who would come up with some things of the past and give a tone of the passing archaic, unmoving, and gone. basically i was afraid i would get up hire and give something
of a eulogy. thing is, this had is not a funeral. and the elders who are with us today in this room and with us in spirit and their local place of residency are still very much alive and fighting and wonderful resource of knowledge of things we are -- that things the party we need to know and be reminded of in order to be the best we can be and looking forward towards the future. political activist jane baldwin once said children have never been very good at listening to their elders. they have never failed to imitate them. i think this holds true with the case of the party. sometimes life is busy. the struggles of the day to day can get us down, and we get wrapped up in our own affairs that we can get tunnel vision. we think we can think this is the first time being done, a problem is arising or a battle is being fought. thing is, the battle and struggle for the end of capitalist exploitations and for
a society based on he equality has been a battle the communist party has been waging for 95 years. it is a battle. it is a battle that has taken on many forms as described as a culmination of issues, but if this is a battle that has gone on for some time and we have elders, people in this very room and around the country who have been fighting in it for decades and continue to fight in it. we can at least hope in some way to imitate their strengths and resilience, to be able to have the similar life lesson they had and to be able to help contribute to the rich legacy of the party as they had as well. well, okay. i'm going to -- okay. we have some of the greatest resources through our elders within the party. to learn from and be thankful for those that have come before us. i'm reminded of a political
activist, maran wright elderman noted of his elders. i feel very luck where i to have grown up having interaction with the adults who were megachange and were far from perfect beings. that feeling of not being paralyzed by your incredible inadequacy of a human being which i feel day to day is part of the legacy that i have gotten for so many of the adult elders. elders may not be the best way to describe them. i'm reminded of what author elizabeth kobler ross broeld wrote when speaking of the older generations. the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. these persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. beautiful people do not just happen. she's right. beautiful people don't just happen.
they are created, and blossom in the complexity of life and struggle. that's who our elders are. truly beautiful people who we are so grateful to have still fighting by our side and being able to learn from their experience and lessons. thank you. >> hi. executive vice chair of the party. i hope you feel as uplifted as i am right now. wral look great. let me tell you. i say to you good afternoon, and i say to you we're going to have a great convention here. but i have a very specific task
this evening. i want to talk to you about extending a welcome to our international guests. coming from the most powerful nation in the world, our party has a long and courageous record of fearless solidarity. workers of the world and oppressed people of the world unite has become more than a great slogan for our party for 95 years. we have fought this fought for all through those 95 years and for all that we have to translate the powerful words and to powerful movements of struggle. the founders of our party lifted the baber of internationalism and solidarity with the first socialist nation in the land that developed and the land.
we carried it in defense of republican spain and against the fascist berlin, tokyo, rome. the banner protested baptista and the -- and it embraced cuban socialism. today it reads in the embargo and free the cuban fire. our banner was lifted in solidarity with the courageous people of vietnam and their valiant struggle against u.s. impeer wralism. we are with the free people of vietnam today and are hopeful that a peaceful solution will be found to end the current most serious wlikt with the people's republic of china that's going
on right now. our banner of anti-race echl international us was raised in solidarity with south africa's fight for freedom. when we hail the founding of the new anti-racist democratic republic of south africa, we continue to raise the banner in solidarity with the new pro-socialist venezuela and all newt elected -- elected progressive governments in latin america. we stood with the people of iraq and occupation in the country and in their continued struggle for a just and lasting peace of self-determination, the banner of the cp usa forever will wave against u.s. impeer wralism and in solidarity with the oppressed
and ebbing metro detroited in the world. it is against austerity which is being spread by the most powerful economic forces around the world. we're for labor and people's fight back all over the world. we stand with the people of iran, against the threats of war coming mainly from our ultra right, but not only from the ultra right. also from the israeli ruling circles. we hold high our banners of anti-impeer wralism stand with the peoples of central and south america and the struggle for social justice and for economic and political independence. independence from u.s. corporate dominance. workers and oppressed people of the world unite. in the ukraine, u.s. policy is
to join with those who wave the flag of nazism lug to some surprise the confederate flag was waived in kiev. these cool people who carry the confederate flag of u.s. slavery, they are supposed to be our allies in the ukraine? hell no. the world has not forgotten what nazism is. u.s. imperialism does not represent the interest of the american people. we know that. their goal is not peace on earth, but how big a piece of this earth they can dominate and exploit. it is the wasted treasure, of our nation squandered on war that we cannot afford. it is the blood of our working
>> scottsboro, angela herndon and so many who face the gallos. the whole fight to bring down the beastial slavery system gained worldwide political muscle because of international solidarity. it was a wealthy english -- during the civil war, the great carmikes land to fight to mobilize the workers to refuse to unload ships made from slave
labor and anti-racism, anti-racist solidarity is basic to working class solidarity. our party -- our party will never forget what communist and workers parties did in their fight to save angela davis. [ applause ] long live international solidarity. workers and oppressed people of the world unite. our unity is our strength. comrades, many parties have sent in wonderful greetings to our convention. we are especially delight to have our many international
guests who have joined us, many traveling thousands of miles to be with us. a number of other parties as john mentioned were blocked by the state department and the cubans sent in their application. they didn't say no. they just hit the visa. i don't know. nothing came out of it, and they said they often do that. i thought we were irrelevant. i thought we were, you know -- what are they scared of? our secretary of state, you know, come on. we had guest from all over the world. what is your problem, brother? you understand what i'm saying? i think it's part of their whatever, wron what it is. anyway, the south african delegation would be here. they always come. there was a problem of health. he could not make the trip. they send their best wishes.
we say to those that are here, however, welcome being comrades. we are honored by your presence. i want to ask each one to stand as i call your party's name. comrades, please try to hold your amruz until our wonderful international comrades are all standing. fat chance, i know. first of all, from the communist party of brazil, please stand. you can remain standing. the communist party of britain, please stand. that's all the applause y'all can do? come on. huh? i know. i'm teasing you. the party of germany, please
stand. the two-day party of iran. [ applause ] >> the communist party of iraq is here. >> the communist party of japan is here. and the communist party of vietnam. [ applause ] >> welcome. please give them a rouzing hand. you all get a chance in the course of this weekend to hear much and meet them, so on, but
long live international solidarity. i'm sorry -- thank you. >> juan lopez, the organizer of the northern california district. >> thank you. well, it is a great privilege and pleasure to introduce our national chairman sam web. sam has been a mentor and an inspiration to many of us, including myself.
i am proud to say that sam and i at the ripe age of 69 share a common destiny. we are one we're from entering the prime of our lives. [ applause ] >> as young men our baby boomer swrrgs was shaped by the movements of the 1960 civil rights and anti-vietnam war era to which the party just emerging from the mccarthy period made important contributions. at the time first as a college student and then a worker, a shop steward, sam served as leader of the party in his native maine with distinction. in the 1970s at the party's urging, sam and his family moved to detroit when the automobile industry was still king. under sam's leadership, the
party in michigan ably contributed to the fresh winds that were re-energizing and renewing the labor movement unleashing the process resulting in today's progressive trends. in the 1980s at party in new york sam went on to become secretary of the party's national labor commission. during subsequent years he went to take national assignments becoming an effective trouble shooter on major parties of the party's work. after the soviet union, the socialist xamp in eastern europe imploded, sam played a pivotal role in helping lead the party out of one of the most challenging periods bringing unity, stability, continuity, and renewal to the party. it was a united party that enthusiastically elected him as national chairman in 2000.
it is this threat, continuity, and renewal. continuity and renewal that our national chairman has told us to pass through the eye of a needle resulting in the sound policies in overlooking trajectory that characterizes our party today. in today's world, when the contradictions have never been greater in our lifetime between the 1% and the 99%, together sam leading with other highly capable comrades in the collective bodies, together with comrades at all levels, toget r
together. >> it's where we fell short. with fresh minds together, this weekend we chart a course that will build on the great strides we have made since our last convention. sam has brought outstanding qualities worth mentioning because of the impact they have on our party and through our party carry over into the mass arena. a deep understanding of the science and art we call marxism. marxism not fixed in stone for all time, but one very much alive, masterfully applied to concrete circumstances and evolving with everchanging reality. a keen appreciation for the sensibilities and the aspirations of our nation's working class of people, not least for members of our own
party. a style of leadership, utterly collected with disarming humility at the same time, reality based bold initiative. leadership by example as well as persuasion. being aware that sam is not one for personal -- nevertheless, i felt obliged to bring these qualities out because they represent much of the best in our party's collective experience. so it is with our minds set on continuity and renewal that we set out as we said leaning to our national convention not to perform some radical makeover or programs, policies, and party, but rather, to make some adjustments, do some fine-tuning, and discuss and agree on some exciting new initiatives. without further ado, i present to you my dear friend and
comrade sam web. [ applause ] >> thank you, juan, for your overly generous introduction, and i accept it. that's how we try to function over the past 14 years, and by and large, i think we've done a pretty good job at it, but i accept it in a collective spirit. it's great to see all of you here, and special thank you to the convention organizing
committee who did yoman's work, john, judith, lebarow, john, joelle, elaineaelainaa, hersche tony. let's have a hand. good afternoon, everybody, and a special good afternoon to our international guests. thank you for coming so far to be with us. seems like everybody is raring to go, so i hope i can get us off and running well. every convention has its own particular mission. what is the mission of this 30th convention? in addition to catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, breaking bread together and just generally having a good
time, our mission is to take a fresh and sober look at the day's realities and challenges. this includes making adjustments of a strategic and tactical nature to new conditions. it entails taking better care of the future and the struggles of the presence. over the next three days, we'll turn our attention to those social movements which are critical to recasting our country's politics, economics and popular thinking. while we look ahead, we also keep in sight the immediate challenge of this fall's elections. of course, we give our attention to the many sided building of our party for the 21st century. such a party should be modern, mature, militant en masse. in my world -- the much utilized and collective and penetrating voice in the people's world.
far more effectively than it has done up until now. i'm not going to turn my attention -- now i'm going to turn my attention to the main challenges that the leadership of the party would like you, you the delegates, to discuss, debate, and decide over the next three days. i'll present them one by one for the purposes of clarity, but real life each intermingles with the others in countless ways. challenge one, people surge. seems like every day somebody new is raising hell. rattling the cages of the powers that be. one day it's the dreamers. the next day it's wal-mart and fast food workers, and then the moshl monday movement that the day after that. then there are seemingly endless actions to increase the minimum wage. there are also initiatives to stop deportations and the militaryization of the border. to this we have to add the
mobilizations against voter suppression along with ongoing campaigns to register the vote. nor can we forget the struggles to stop mass incarceration and overhaul a judicial system that is full of racial and class bias. of great significance are the efforts to protect women's health at abortion clinics which are under fierce attack. then there are the inspiring student campaigns against global energy corporations, student debt, and the keystone pipeline. we shouldn't forget the flood of phone calls that nearly overwhelm the congress, switchboards of what look like imminent u.s. military action in syria. also great significance was a trance formative convention last fall. still, another impressive example of the surgery was the
landslide win of bill deblasio, of mayor of new york. he was a self-described progressive. then a few weeks ago across the might where i hudson, in another impressive victory was elected newark's mayor. finally -- finally an aspects of this surge that is so inspiring it brings tears to my eyes and the pass passage of marriage equality legislation in state after state. these victories have become so common that it is ease where i to lose sight of the enormous change that represents -- that this represents and thanks go to the courage and tenacity of the lbgt movement. letting everyone's name tip our
banner to the late harry hayes as well as -- as well as to the pioneering stonewall generation. that includes our own jerry donovan and eric gordon. eric is with us. >> the stonewall -- the stonewall generation -- the battle they lost loved ones to the aid epidemic, and they never gave an inch to ignorance and hate. if i could sum up the surge in a few words, i might say -- i might say that things are breaking good, not breaking bad. i'll be the first to say that the surge of struggle doesn't have the capacity, resolve, the crisis of capitalism, and a consistently democratic and working class manner. but does it have transformative
potential? yes. i believe it contains the seeds if could if properly cared for could bring a new burst of freedom, economic security, and peace to our land. of course, the del's advocate would quickly remind me of wrarz that make any kind of progress, let alone social transformation unlikely. you know what, the obstacles are formidable. the task is daunting. we should lower our sights or lose those gifts called hope and desire or give up on the american people. the present surge is real, and it can evolve into a movement of the majority in the interest of the immense majority. it's a lubbock as well as san francisco. it's in the south as well as the
north. it's in the heartland as well as the coast. it's the red states as well as blue states. to put it differently, only a movement is one progressive analyst that includes the desperately poor. in the insecure middle class, has any chance of success. that is not exactly a marxist formulation, but framing it like that encourages big universe thinking and expansive tactics, both of which is something lacking on the left and in the party at times. it brings me to challenge two. an economy that works for working people. the 99% aren't fairing too well. are you? the economic recovery is anemic, and things don't look good going forward. in fact, the phrase economic stagnation has re-entered the conversation of even mainstream
economists after a long absence. paul krugman, the nobel prize winning economist and "new york times" columnist wrote a while back, and i quote, "but what if the world we've been living in for the past five years is the new normal? what if depression-like conditions are on track to persist. not for one year or two years, but for decades." wow, that's big stuff. present day capitalism, while being governed by the same underlying laws of motion and dynamics, there's little resemblance to u.s. capitalism in the years stretching from the end of world war ii to the mid 1970s. during that era between 1945 and 1975, sometimes called capitalism's golden age, the economy grew steadily and dynamically, but this change in the mid 1970s when the
conditions of sustained capitalism dynamic and near continuous expansion over a 25-year period largely disappeared and gave way to what is called stagflation. that is high inflation, slow growth, and -- with this turn of events, many especially the decline in profits, the money bags of the corporate suites did two things. first, they declared war on labor. in this builter class when we know only too well goes on unabated. in the sfeer of material production and set to it, you are free. go wherever you want. multiply many times over and make me rich. which is exactly what their foot loose and profit seeking money did. it nestled everywhere, settled everywhere, and established
connections everywhere. but the main place it flowed was to the interfinancial markets and channels. in fact, the flow is so massive and sustained it became the main factor shaping the contour structure into relations and evolution of the national and global economy, but as we know only too well, this enormous flow of overwhelmingly speculative, parasitic and nonfinancial monies while pumping life into an underperforming economy was anything but an unmixed blessing. sure, a few people on wall street or connected to wall street got rich. rotten rich. lived in a constable luxury and accumulated enormous power. most of us got spanked and
spanked hard. we lost job, income, and -- we piled up debts so we could get high. we did nothing but worry about our finances, families, and communities. when the feeding frenz where i finally unravelled and the whole economic came down in 2008, damn it if we didn't get spanked again. to think that not one, not even one of these thieves of high finance spent a dale? jail. to make matters worse, five years later things are no better for us. nearly all of the income gains, during this time have gone to the 1%. the prognosis for the economy is more of the same. slow growth, stagnation and mounting contradictions. what gives to the stagnation pressures are the vast changes that have occurred in the global economy since 1980.
you know on the one hand at the apex of the economy, a huge multi-national corporation and banks. on the other hand, marxist reserve army of the unemployed, under employed, and informally employed has doubled in size during that time. this -- the scale of this sorp shon of workers and the wage exploitation has radically releveraged the relative positions of capital and labor in favor of the capitalist class. what is more the disparity of wealth and power at the core of the economy constitutes a new and powerful source of downward pressure on the u.s. and global economy. now, this turn of events and reconstitution of capitalism could not have happened without a major assist from the government and the political class. a crucial importance with the
collection of ronald reagan in 1908 and the ascent yancy of the right wing that followed. but to be fair, the democrats especially the clinton administration were not bystanders either. they also had a hand in transforming the economy to the advantage of the 1%. so the question before the house is how do we get out of this mess? here's my two cents. what's needed is nothing less than the restructuring of the economy in a consistently and deeply anti-corporate and eventually socialist direction. first -- first the conversion of a fors i'll fuel driven in militaryized economy and a sustainable one based on and developing renewable energy sources. second, major infrastructure construction and renewal.
third -- you'll like this -- a guaranteed and income for all and the reduction in the workweek with no cut in pay. fourth, a major expansion of every aspect of the public sector education, housing recreation, culture, child care, retirement, security, health care, elder care, and so forth. fifth, strengthening of workers rights and people's rights swrenly. six, turn too big to fail banks and the energy industry into public utilities. seventh, measures to overcome longstanding inequalities and rebuild hard hit communities. finally, controls on capital's
ability to abandon communities and move around the world. fourth, reforms are met with a refrain, there is no money. but that is perhaps the biggest of all lies. he had unearned wealth that's been amassed by the 1%. this could be transferred into public hands, our hands. and another. another huge source of funds is the reordering of government priorities away from military spending and finally, taxing of the financial flows of transaction should get our radical economic program off and running. let me add this. the purpose of such a reform program isn't the to level the playing field or to insure that everyone who plays by the rules
and works hard gets a fair shot at the american dream. to the contrary. the purpose is to decisively change the rules and tilt the playing field in favor of the underpaid, the underemployed, the unemployed, the discriminated against, the struggling family, the indebted student, the underwater homeowner, the bankrupt city, the underfunded schools. every victim of capitalist crisis. where do we begin? my answer is that we begin where we are. that is the existing movement and struggles, and there are so many. starting with the growing movement against economic inequality. the low wage economy and right wing extremists.
one day president richard passionately speaking about the growth of inequality. the next day it is president obama making a speech on the same subject. the books of thomas tickerty and elizabeth warren both on the subject of glaring and unjustified inequality are in the "new york times" best sell's list? a progressive blocking congress stands firm behind economic justice. the minimum wage movement is really kicking up sand. the latest victory in seattle, city council to lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour. meanwhile, around the world powerful movements, in some cases even governments are demanding economic justice, and before we move on, as a former
altar boy, i got to bring the pope into the conversation. who said and i have to quote you, while the earnings of the minority are growing exponentially, so too is -- separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. the imbalance of the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. a new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual. a new tyranny which, oops, which we impose as its own laws and rules. the thirst for power and possibilities knows no limits. in this system which tends to -- anything -- whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interest
of the dietified market which becomes the only rule. end of quote. powerful stuff. like lebron james, the pope's got game. one of the most compelling struggles against economic inequality, maybe the most compelling. it's the low wage work of organizing campaigns. who are these workers? well, they are us. they're young as well as old, black and brown as well as white, women and men, immigrant as well as native born, suburban and rural as well as urban, and i'm sure gay and straight. they also come from red states as well as blue states. in their corner are important sections of the labor movement. we and many, many others are
supporters of this struggle, but at this convention, we should have upped the ante. right now at this convention of the communist party to make the struggle a strategic focus. can we agree to that? [ applause ] >> i thought you would agree. which moves to challenge three. as an overriding strategic task. the labor movement is an essential cornerstone of transformative politics. no, not everyone on the left and progressive community is of this mind. some have signed the labor movement no part of the process of change, some a big part, and still others include labor in a very long list of other
political actors. contrast on the left to occupy as compared to the recent conviction of -- he was gaga in one case and hohum in the other. this obviously is in our attitude. when organized, united, and equipped with a class and democratic vision, the working class in its organized sector possess transformative power. of course, this isn't the case today. the latest membership is at its lowest level since world war ii. it's on the defensive and fractured, the left and labor while growing while still small in side and the barriers to reconstitute, a revitalized and growing labor movement are formidable. now if this were the entire story, you would be a bummer. i would go on vacation and head to the pub by noon.
but it labor is breaking out of its defensive shell. opening up its arms to millions of new members. and taking new initiatives. so what should we do? we should do what sections of labor are doing. acknowledging, embracing and doing something about this crisis. now i'm not polly annish, even the best of circumstances, transformation of a labor movement won't be accomplished overnight. but as i said, the first steps of being taken, labor is beginning to dance with a new beat and rhythm. labor should join the dance. that's the question before the house. before this convention is, are you ready to put on your dancing shoes and boogie to labor's beat?
now i expected you would break out in applause because i know how many of you like to dance. which takes me to challenge four. elections on the struggle for political inded. ents. and the challenge for anybody who cares about the future of our democracy, elections this fall, they probably won't shift the political terrain in a deep going way. but that doesn't take away from their importance. whichever side wins will have to win over the next two years of the obama presidency and the leg up in the 2016 presidential race. if the republicans catch control of the senate, by retaining control of the house, they will claim that american people have
unambiguously rejected the president in his politics that redistribute economics, government overreach and super sized state. thon ground, you press the reactionnary agenda to the max. block the president at every turn as well as ramp up efforts to portray him as incompetence tent, voicers of takers and free loaders and weakening in a global theater. nothing new here, except that they were pursued this smear campaign with more vigor. this is all how the republican opposition goes beyond the normal give and taken a politics and heated partisanship. what it reveals is that a barely concealed and deeply felt racial
animous toward a black president. an order that is white male and well to do. as fixated as they are on booba, they are equally on the tennis of millions to survive. thus the stakes are tremendously high in this election. and it goes to stay that we should be in the battle. no one should sit on the bench. this is play off time. this won't be cake walk. whoever said it would be easy or smooth. who said it would be easy to elect the first african-american president. none of us, i bet. most of the people shared our view. but life and struggle and a yes, we can attitude, combines to break new ground and make history.
can we surprise the pundits once again and give the republicans a good thrashing in november. we got the right spirit. but we and the larger people's movement have to combine the spirit with two other things if we had a win in november. first, good talking points. we convince people that the vote counts and that the right wing can be defeated this fall. and the massive voter registration protects the vote, get out the vote campaign, beginning now. if this is done, and i think there can be lots of talking heads like the republican vistry will have to eat their words. now, some on the left and
progressive movement minimize the importance of this election, in part because they don't share our concern about the right danger, and in part because they feel that democratic party is no great shape either. well, i'm mindful of the fact that democratic party has a class anchorage and it ain't working class. despite the broad range of people and organizations that comprise it, not everyone has an equal seat at the table. but i'm also mindful that any realistic strategy to defeat the right, thereby creating tupts to move through higher ground, necessarily includes the democratic party as part of a fwroeing people's coalition. so, so how do we square the circle? i'm not sure if i can do it completely but here are some brief thoughts.
first of all, an independent labor-based party able to compete on the national level with two main part eves capitalism doesn't exist now, nor is it on the horizon. and while there is a -- while there is this affection within the democrat ic party, nearly nobody is ready to say see you later. what they are ready to do is to fight with a party leaders and wall street over policy and political direction. so if a third party isn't on the agenda for now, what does the left do in the meantime? hope the democratic party will do us right? not at all. two interrelated tasks come to mind. one, is to continue to build the broadest deepest grass roots
coalition, including the demes, against the right in this fall's elections and beyond.s, against the right in this fall's elections and beyond. and the other is to give new imagination and emergency to extend and deepen the independent over and to the outside of the democratic party and press the democratic agenda. now, will there be tension? of course. how could there not be. that's the nature of coalition. but we will learn the course of doing -- how do i move this whole thing forward. which takes me to challenge five. climate change and sustainability. the piling up of carbon and other greenhouse gases and reaching the point that james hansen, one of the world's foremost climate scientists
calls it a planetory emergency, what makes matters worse is that time is becoming our enemy. our window to act is closing. never before has such a challenge confronted the human supposies. and yet we sit on our hands. can't say the same thing about the fossil fuel industry. most of the republican party, right wing, well funded think tanks, and the rightly despised koch brothers. can i hear a boo? >> boo. >> this molly gang is making the rounds. denying the science of climate change and resisting the smallest measures that might cut down on carbon emissions. while this crisis is plan tarian sculpt, it works the most on
working classes, poor and especially on countries and peoples of the developing world. despite this impending calamity, the response of the left in broader democratic movement hasn't been commensurate with the new danger. in this party in particular, we are going to be graded on our performance, my guess, is that we will get a d. and the only reason we wouldn't receive an f is due to the regular and outstanding coverage on climate change in the environment and the people's world. we can and must do better. the clock is ticking. i'm reminded of a quote from martin luther king, jr. in another context. and i quote, we are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. we are confronted with a fierce urgency of now.
and this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there's such a thing as being too late. procrastination is still the of time. end of quote. the eloquent words and scientific data don't woo you to be a better steward of this fragile planet, place we call earth and make it personal. that's what i do. i think of my two daughters. step daughter and stepsons. and i also think a lot about violet and pearl, my two granddaughters, 11 years old. who will hopefully live long in this century. and are friendly to humans and other life forms. whether that happens or not, however rests on what we and
tens of millions of other people do in the next few years. but here is the good news. if i made you too gloomy. a movement is being born. and it includes young people in the trades union movement, too. although they understand there are concerns of working people, not fear the weight of the necessary and absolutely necessary transition to a fossil full free economy. we should join this movement heart and soul. we should bring our energy and whole tool kit, including socialist perspective to it. and in the globalization of the united states demanding actions from leaders and government to and cloimate change, can we agree that we will join as well as mobilize friends and neighbors for this action. what do you think?
>> a month or two ago, month or two ago, i signed up as our leadership to convince soviet obedient to start the keystone pipeline. how many of you will make that pledge today? new beginnings require a first step. and i think we have taken one. bring in challenge number six, new racist order. the right wing -- the right wing attack against the inequality is sustained, coordinated and exceedingly dangerous. and the right wing -- and the right wing had a whole range of rights and social institutions, unions, churches, community organizations. families, and kinship groups and so forth that sustain everyday life and empower tens of
millions. but for sec sections of the ruling class and democracy and subsequent equality is at war. with their world view and zealous pursuit of dominance. this game of democracy and equality busters by temperament outlook practice you a authoritarian, massage any of the. they despise labor. i wish i could say this gang isn't yet at the gate, but they are. and in two years they hope to be inside and in charge of the castle. no joke. what do we do now? what do the people do? to concede no ground, go on the defense, expand on equality, interconnect the whole range of
democratic struggles and give the right wing a spanking this fall and again in 2016. of particular significance in this regard is racism and struggle against it. both have left an indelible mark on every aspect of the democratic and struggle over the past 300 years. today, and i dare say tomorrow, would be no different. as much as racism and the struggle against it, a timeless way to express themselves differently over time as conditions change. in fact, i would argue that the vast political and economic changes going back to the 19 60s, have within given rise in this century to a new racist order and to a new anti-racist movement resisting that order.h century to a new racist order and to a new anti-racist movement resisting that order. this makes the struggle against
racist inequality at more difficult and more promising. here's why. on the one hand, notable victories and struggle for equality led by people of color in the first place have been registered over the past few decades. perhaps none more than the stunning election of president obama in 2008 and '12. furthermore, racial attitudes and sections of the white community have changed for the better. of particular significance sections of labor and other movements engage in otherwise anti-ray sift struggle and take steps to make it reflective of their membership. something that they didn't do years ago.of their membership. something that they didn't do years ago.steps to make it refl their membership. something that they didn't do years ago. can anyone who grew up in the '60s, and there are lots of us here, president kirkland stomping the country and making it work to vote for an african-american presidential
candidate? don't think so. and of course, young people like to embrace some of of the old racist and other stereotypes of older generations. this is one side of the dialectic in which inform and even broader and deeper anti-racial unit and anti-racist understanding. but on the other side of the dialectic, new economic realities, which have taken shape the past 30 years and given tries a racist order making racism exploitation and discrimination much more difficult and durable to dislodge. and legitmize this structure which brings together new and old racist notion, including the notion that our nation enter need a post racial post civil rights color blind era. dress that notion up as you will.
but it is nothing but hog wash. so what do we do? seems to me, reexpand in every way what we have been doing. that is struggling for jobs, housing, adequate funding of schools and education. for an end to racial profiling, stop and frisk on the war on drugs. for an overhaul on the criminal justice system, for political representation, for affirmative action, for the defeat of the right in the coming elections. i would add me, you and me, have to make the case more persuasively and vigorously that everyone who hopes that this country move in a democratic direction, let alone the people where people and nature trump corporate profits cannot afford to sit out the struggle. it is a challenge the new racist order could pull the country back to lays long gone by into a
future that we long thought could never happen again. we have to argue that racism hurts. it crushes hope. dreams of families. it tramples on dignity. it destroys flies. it denies jobs. it short changes education and housing. it profiles and sanctions violence. and it kills. spsh lit young, sometimes on the street, sometimes in distant lands. sometimes in prisons. and the victims of people of color. but racism also tempers, disciplines, brings wisdom. it gets courage. provokes resistance. inspires liberating and poetic visions. and gives rise to a freedom thus making people of color into long and front row marchs on freedoms road and a powerful voice for material and progressive and radical change generally.
but i would add this. and this is a crucial point. after the end of the day, white people as well are morally and materially diminished in one way or another. racist ideology and practice in quality and dignity to people of color in the first place. it also hides exploitation of all. it makes a society free of class racial and gender divisions a pipe dream. can we overcome? and violence in a world of peace. we can barely turn in any direction without encountering violence of one kind or another.
violence is a pervasive presence in the world. it kills insent people and tears up the social fabric of our communities and societies. it can even numb our sense of outrage. and to the point of where we become accepting of its presence. but violence is a natural and eternal. hate is an inhuman kind dna. war is a social constrict there are alternatives. dr. king, was right when he appealed for a trans valuation of values. his majesty, human kind was nonviolence and love. but for him, pass appeals of people's goodwill but categories of struggle. they rested on contesting the exploitation and oppression that other material ground for violence. he appealed to anyone that
listened to eet elimination of poverty, and racism and the gateway to a nonviolent world.l poverty, and racism and the gateway to a nonviolent world. were he here today, i couldn't help but think that he would tell us that our mission can be nothing less than to join with millions of others here and across our planet to insist on peace and end violence to study war, but to be concrete. let me suggest to you what i think we should be on our agenda. first we should insist that our government makes a u-turn in its foreign policy. second -- [ applause ] second we should insist on the institution and we are nothing
but staging grounds to project violence. third. we should insist not only to the asia and pacific but to the common efforts resolve the poverty and equality and climate change. four, we should insist on a just element of the palestinian and israeli conflict that includes at its core an independent viable robust palestinian state existing side by side, side by side, and in peace and equality with israel. and we should insist hands off, no war in iraq. [ applause ] a normal relation and freedom for the cubans and end to the hold -- [ applause ] and an end to the whole generalized sanctions regime.
six, we should insist that big powers, existing and rising, respect the rights of small states. seven, we should insist on an end to the war on terror in the surveillance state. terrorist actions against insent people cannot be justified and should be stopped. but the war on terror isn't the way to do it. it becomes easily the rational for wars or aggression abroad and cutting down of democratic rights and neglect of human needs at home. the discourage of terrorist actions can only be counted by the collective effort of the world kmupity. community. eight, we should insist on a peace budget, anwr budget. in the peace economy, an materialized one. the judicial system be overhauled, and justice be not
punitive but redemptive and restorative. ten, we should insist on an end to capital punishment in position of stricter gun laws and formation of power civilian review board in every city. 11, we should expand on the health care clinics and have humane treatment to people. young and old. young and old who have mental problems, no shame in that. right? 12, we should insist on the reconstruction plan of massive scale on a massive scale for the purpose of restoring and sustaining communities and cities, rural communities and reservations of native peoples. 13, and finally, we should insist on a just and humane immigration system. if we want to fight a war, we
should once again declare a war on poverty, joblessness, adequate housing, malnutrition and the social ills that make life difficult for millions. nor should we show intolerance towards racism and phobia or homophobia, all which can easily turn into acts of violence. and we know it all too well. lennon once wrote, the peace among nations, cessation of pillaging and violence, such is our appeal. end quote. i would modify that. i would modify that in this way. the end of violence is our ideal but it must become our passion. it should not be a goal but better yet encoded into our emotional and political dna. and into everything we say and
do. and the images banners and slogans that we create. if peace is to have a chance. we have to embrace and convince others to do the same. finally, building the communist party. i'm sure everyone would agree that taking care of the future struggle for the president includes the building, of the party and size capacity and influence. in other words, building a transformative party. so what is to be done? what will it take? and here i'm going to abbreviate my remarks in the interest of time and not exhausting your patience. but i will do is mention what stands out in my mind. if we are going to build a transformative party, including the couple of things that generated some lively discussion in our preconvention period.
first of all, it will take confidence that the audience for ideas in our party is growing under the impact of changing objective and subjective conditions. and there is reason to think that this is the case. both in size, capacity, mass relations and influence, we're in a better place now than we were four years ago when we gathered. we are growing not by huge leaps and bounds but incrementally. for incremental growth can add up. also to build transformative party, we have to pay systematic attention at every level of the party, to building the party. it can be the work of one or two or three comrades. it has to be the work of the entire collective. also to build the transformative party, we have to find ways to
further deep and extend the whole new pool of comrades. i think we are too thing in terms of the depth that level. so we have to change that. also take more active and vibrant clubs, the ground floor of a transformative party. it is hard and not impossible to increase our political organizational capacity without a much larger organizational presence of the form are clubs at the local level. just as union power, depends on local unions, power is in a dense network of clubs across the country. it should go without saying that the clubs who come in many different sizes and shapes, some will be statewide. others city wide. and still others we hope will be located in a neighborhood or workplace. building a transformative party will take social media and
special the people's world. we have made headway in this area but not enough. we still have a long ways to go. also teak a special approach to the party among trade unionistes with people of color, women, youth and immigrants. also take a range of forms including the young communist league to attract youth to our circle. and we have to do more complacency in our agency. and take more full-blooded and modern educational program that is equipped to reach new members and old members alike. this, i think, is a major responsibility task. another requirement of the transform in a party is the deeper organizing culture. we have -- and the notion of practice of organizing and influence and actions of others.
yes, part of a action and movement. foits a good fight but in too many cases we are only participants. not movers and shakers. not organizers and change agents. we make things happen and change the way people think. also, taking a more compelling vision of socialism. it was modern in shape. national experiences. traditions. sensibilities. and challenges. a rear view mirror to construct the vision of socialism, and usa won't fill the bill. you won't meet the challenge of the new stature including
massive economical challenge. socialism, if it is going to be attractive to millions, can't simply speak in the language of structures relations, planning, growth rates, and the material tradition of goods. that won't do it. and tell a story. that expands the boundaries of human freedom and equality. situates ordinary people in the sense of the transforming practice of creating a new society. accents of full free and many sizes of development of the individual. and paint in many colors an hughs new arrangements of collective living and working. socialism, i would saadd, be reduced to working class power either. power in the application of power should be subordinated to vision and values. it has to be combined with
justice and embedded in to and checked by, if need be, democratic policy, culture and institutions. empower shouldn't be the property or constitutionality of any one party. thus centralize it into the hand after single entity. if the 20th century taught us anything, it should have taught us that. in short, our vision of socialism should give new figure, if not recover. and the democratic i mans patory sentencesens of marks socialism. building a transformative party, requires that we understand that our leadership role is an issue from our self declarations on
all that we did yesterday. rather the final analysis on how well we distinguish ourselves. at the level of ideas and practice in today and tomorrow's struggles. we will be much better served if we situate ourselves as an equal aep dynamic part of the larger less financial movement. and on that ground make, in fact we are making, a vital, unique, political contributions to immediate and longer range struggles. finally, building a transformative party will take a party that is guided by marksism. while we give pride a place to mark lennon, we embrace the whole body of marks' thinking. as well as a nation's radical and democratic conditions.
we need to take more seriously lennon's observation. i quote, we do not regard marks' theory as something completed and invaluable. on the contrary, we are convinced that it has only laid the foundation stone of the science which socialists must develop in all directions that they wish to keep pace with life. end of quote. [ applause ] i understand that to mean that we have to act on the creative and ongoing development of marksism! it is not a closed and completed system, but one that needs constant attention and elaboration. our task isn't the reduced politics to cut and dry screams. to simplistic answers and formulas that are just the opposite.
our task is to breath movement, complexity, processies, contradictions and even contingency. i sometimes think that when it comes to theory and politics, our job is to complicate our own and other people's understanding of class. class struggle, roles of democracy and democratic struggles. process of social change, racism, anti-racism, gender impression and economy and so on. how theoretical and analytical will strongly argue is not what it should be. falls far short of what is necessary to hope to evolve into a major political play in the politics of our country. being in the fight is an absolutely necessary condition. if we add qualitative our role and influence in the successive
stage of the struggle. but it is not enough. a modern militant mass, mature, 21st century communist party at the level of ideas as well as at the level of practice. both are crucial. and for that matter, the quality depends on the quality of the other. and an ending. finally. you know mischallenges are all around us. so enormous that one could easily wallow in despair but i know you won't do that. because communists here and around the world, don't give up on the face of momentous challenges. it is not our style. it is not our heritage.
it is not our dna. in fact, not in the style of heritage and dna of the american people. we made a conditions require back up for a moment. but we never back down. it is in our default position. fighting harder and smarter is. and i don't doubt for a moment that we will do both in the years ahead. in this journey that began 95 years ago takes another step down freedom road. and let us resolve in this hall. this convention. on this day. in this great city. to step up the pace of our march. our legs may be tired. but our spirit is strong. our mission is just in our vision of a freed people. living in harmony with each
other in nature is ever more urgent. and while we capital exactly say when socialism will arrive on this journey, we remain as we march deeper into this new century, confident that one day it will. and on that day, the bells will ring. the people will rejoice. and the new burst of freedom will grace our land, transforming our nation into a more perfect union. [ applause ] and on that day, we will remember the songs of woody, paul, pete and odeta. we will hear dr. king's words on the washington mall in august of 1963.
well recall farmworkers marching from delano to sacramento. we will shed a tear or two for the trail of tears, slavery, unrelenting exploitation and other crimes of now vanquished capitalism. and we will feel a renewed kinship with all of the freedom fighters who walked and rambled down freedom highway and whose foot steps remain forever etched in the sands of time. also on that day, we will of ma angelo. you may trod me in the very dirt, but still like dust, i'll rise.
communist party's 30th national party in chicago. this is about 45 minutes. [ applause ] tonight, we will interview our panelists. there will be no speechifying. we will get their impressions as labor journalists, activists, and organizers of the movement for raising the minimum wage and for the rights of low wage workers. what impact will this struggle have for dignity and living wage
on the future of the labor movement and local sustainable economic development in our communities? it will be a little bit jimmy fallon, little bit queen latifah style interviewing. no wores, naquasia, it won't be like stephen colbert. but for one question, panelists, will this be a great panel or the greatest panel? >> greatest! >> greatest. >> greatest! >> greatest. >> all right. >> so i want to introduce our panel who are going to join naquasia, michael and rasheen. from people's world homegrown here in chicago. howard kling, secretary of the international labor
communications association afl-cio and editor of minnesota working. elke redmond, org national board members of jobs with justice.ck board members of jobs with justice.e redmond, org nationald members of jobs with justice.rg members of jobs with justice.g members of jobs with justice. n members of jobs with justice.na members of jobs with justice. so panelists, kari and howard, this story is as old as dirt. corporations making mega profits and paying the workers barely a living wage. and the labor press always covered the struggles for better life for working people. so tell us one story that you have written about concerning low wage workers, the struggle of fast-food workers and what
those stories show about the uniqueness of these struggles today. >> okay. >> well, okay, so i am from the minnesota labor association and project of work day minnesota and it was sort of my idea, or whatever. right? but anyway. we have been covering a lot of -- oh, working minnesota is the first on-line labor newspaper in the united states. we think. founded in 2001. we have been covering labor news in minnesota since then. so just to give people an idea. so we have been covering the organizing of low wage workers and minimum wage fight in minnesota. i will tell you one story.
it just happened. monday, i had the privilege and i do video, i con treb out about half of the video to our squiemt. i had the privilege anyway, monday, and it is, to go to a trailer park in the suburb of minneapolis and interview alicia flores who is a building cleaner for the target corporation, a subcontracting -- actually works for a firm that subcontracts with target. and sat in her kitchen. and had her tell me about the recent victory that they just had. she is a member of of center for workers united struggle.
i'm language challenged. but anyway -- workers centers based in the twin cities of minnesota that has been operating for about 3 1/2, 4 years, organizing. they had been organizing building cleaners who work for various companies that are subcontractors with target and cub foods and sears and home depot and stuff like that. and so, the biggest fight with target corporation and monday they announced tuesday, or monday, they announced they reached an agreement with target corporation. the three pieces of the agreement, this is unprecedented for i think for a workers center and certainly the agreement includes, protects and ensures workers rights to bargain with employers. with noninterference.
two, ensuring that workers have the right to safety committees in the work force with 50% of workers designated and elect bid coworkers. >> and three. and this is the one she talked about the most, and three it ensures that workers are not forced to work seven days a week. >> so alicia talked about just how this felt, right? and the time away from her family and the people who told her it wasn't going to work. and all of those doubts that she had had. and you know, and finally her kids, she had something to tell her kids about why she had been gone, you know, in the evenings after a long day of work or whatever. but the thing that really struck me is she said before this happened, and we were going back and forth and back and forth and my heart was so tight and so
closed and now it has opened up and blossomed. and you know, well, okay. so i run the camera now and i mean, whatever, i mean, the power -- i mean, they won something and the power of that and the dignity that she felt, i mean, was just enormous and it makes everything i do worth it to be there when someone can tell me that stuff. and so this is a remarkable achievement and worker center on its way to probably unionize and they are doing a union and you know a car drive. and they work closely with service employers national union local 26. i can tell you way more, but anyway -- >> thank you, howard. >> first of all, i want to say, hashtag awesome. how about it. music of panel.
and i say that because my story is about the global strike and there was a protest here in front of mcdonald's and a lot of the mcdonald's workers were there, including somebody from rockford who came in and told her story about how she started working at mcdonald's when she was 16 and made $3 an hour and she still is working for mcdonald's as a crew chief, but making, because in illinois it is $8.25, moninimum wage, but still can't stay alive on 8:2.2 but still working that, and this woman devoted her life to this billion dollar corporation and put her heart and soul into, you
know, she talked about training the people because she is a crew chief now. training people to keep to the standards of mickey ds. and you know, wants and all of that. and was unbelievably, you know, thrilled like the other mcdonald's workers there and the other workers like wal-mart workers and car wash workers and et cetera. who are struggling were thrilled about that there was 150 cities. and you know, people tweeting their pictures from around the world. brazil. and japan, et cetera. and that they -- people aren't alone. and that was the message. and we have already heard a lot of that. so when i went to interview another mcdonald's worker, i
said, you know, what do you think about all this. and she said, we'll win if we all stick together. because that's what a union does. and when you think about it, i don't know, 30 years ago, you know, when i was younger, we talked about wow you know, all these young people working at fast-food. we should be organizing in the fast-food. it was like, impossible. that's going to be impossible to do that. and now, look at what's happening. you know, fast-food workers, wal-mart workers, organizing, doing this. and you know, earlier today we stood up when roberta asked who is in a union and a lot of people stood up. i was like really impressed with the union members. but then i realized, why didn't everybody stand up? because of the labor movement
has opened its doors all wide. and can say, join working america. and join fast-food forward. and join the fight for 15. joan our wal-mart. and everybody could be part of the labor movement. be part of the union movement. and you don't just have a card that said, you know, whatever. you can be part of that laebor movement. but still, that's -- >> elce? >> the causes and solutions, to the crisis of growing joblessness, and rising economic and equality are very complicated, but polls show they continue to show that an overwhelming majority support a hike in the minimum wage.
seattle of course is leading the way. with the recent decision to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2020. as a community organizer and labor activist, what do you think it driving the growing support for raising the men mum wage? what is the opposition? and how can it be counted? especially in the u.s. senate. >> okay. >> good. >> good evening, comrades. my name is elce redmond. i'm absolutely glad to be here. i wanted to answer that question with a brief story. my grandfather was in the brotherhood of sleeping porter's union. and he -- [ applause ] and he spent 12 years trying to organize a union there. and one of these, when i was young, he would tell stories about the massive dehuman.
anization that was happening within that industry itself. and three things that they were fighting for. they were fighting for living wages. they were fighting for dignity. they were fighting for respect. during that early part of the 20th century. you had sort of the big moguls. pullman, you had jpmorgan, you had the vanderbilts, the carneghe's, you had the rockefellers, you had the kennedys. now we don't have those individuals but we have the multinational corporations. so you know, jpmorgan is replaced by wal-mart. ka carnaghis replaced by young brands. rockefellers replaced by amazon. and the kennedys, bastards, have been like -- excuse me, have been replaced by disney. so you have these multinational
corporations who are doing the same thing that these robber barons did in the 20th century. they don't want to give living wages. they don't want to give workers any dignity. they don't want to give work rs respect. they don't want to recognize union. what we need to do now in 21st century is what our brothers and sisters from the fight for 150, fight, fight for moving forward, fight for what wal-mart is doing, move on not just a local but a national and international scale. and look at the issues of inequality and how the 1% are controlling 99% of our economy. and when all of this is going on, you see that people are rising up. workers from all over the world are rising up against this massive inequality.
so organizing we are doing right now is making a difference. and it is effecting congress and senate. and we mobilize even more to attack these issues and issues of inequality, poverty and racism and dehumanization that is happening within the work forces have all been exposed. now what we need to do is mobilize the workers, the community, labor, and the faith community to really mobilize on a much more larger scale. and one of the most unfortunately one of the worst issues is the massive unemployment that exists when in our country itself and how it effects african-americans and latinos in our society. and you know, we're fighting for wages but we also need to be fighting for jobs and we need to be pushing for a national jobs program.
that puts people back to work right now rebuilding this country. >>. [ applause ] >> naquasia, rasheen, michael and terrie. going global from the day of action from the uk to brazil to india to germfulany to japan, t took it to the streets. you got love facebook, right? i have friends in tokyo who were posting mass pictures going to streets and protesting mcdonald's. so what is the significance of going global? and what do you think will be the outcome of fast-food workers connecting globally?
what can be the outcome? what do you think is going to happen? >> well, let me just say, i have the opportunity to actually meet workers from other countries. and i don't know if you know but workers in denmark are making -- workers in denmark at mcdonald's, guess how much they making? can anybody guess? just throw a number out there. yeah, no. yeah, no. facebook. facebook. the power of facebook. so denmark is making $21 an hour at mcdonald's and also have a union. so pretty much -- [ applause ] yeah. so by us going global, it is showing that the workers in
america are sick and tired of being sick and tired. and the workers on the other side of the world is like what in the world is going on. like, how do you have these workers working for this amount of money and don't -- and don't, you know, give them no type of benefits, don't give us nothing and so, the workers on the other side of the world are concerned. they wanted to -- it is only right of them to stand up and help us when this victory because all of it, all of us are in it together. so this one about global show the corporations and we keep getting bigger and bigger. and it's only been two years and we are already global. what's next? and everybody just needed to shut it down. just got to shut it down. so pretty much, that's what we won't stop until we get what we deserve and what we demand.
>> basically, the struggle, there is a global movement. like the whole labor movement, because i mean, labor has to be international because capital is international. and i mean, if capital can move from one country to another, labor has to have solidarity from one country to another. he says, you know, unit is where our strength is. and if we all just, like want to challenge the system just individually and it is like, individually negotiate our employment contracts. it is the only way possible, on
a united and global scale. and on the outcome of this global movement, is workers like taking control of things. and this is about workers demanding more rights and inevitableably it has to lead to workers, you know, getting to a point where they can -- not just that, but you know, we have more rights. but they can't be taken back because there is nobody else to take back. they are our rights. and -- [ applause ] >> the fight for 15 is important. but it also has to be for a union. if we get this team, tomorrow they can take that away without a union. and so we will just -- and united we stand.
and it is interesting to know that we're the super country. and we're the country that everyone wants to know about from the freedom but australia and denmark are paying their employees more money. this is america. how does that happen? how does that work out? i definitely think that people of these other countries will be standing pup because they know what it is to make a livable wage. they know what it is to not have or twory and not have to struggle. they know what it is to not have a union. it is great to have them in solidarity and to be standing with workers who don't know that. once again it is strange that these workers whose living in this other countries make morgue money and don't have the same privilege and resources but they are standing up against the same company that's over here and telling them bb if you can do it over there, why don't you do it in the usa. that's power florida, strong. and to have our back another country to be standing with,
america, to be standing with low wage workers in america, i mean, this is definitely something in the history books and kids are going to be reading on. >> well, i guess two things came to mind. one was really the power of social media. in helping to fuel the narrative and to win people over. and as an incred el organizing tool, because here is a couple people you've already mentioned. and posting to facebook and twitter and in the midst in realtime, you know, during this strike, and so that you know, helps first of all get the whole issue on the large media as
well. in terms of you know, network and all of that. and but it also, you know, then it just expands people's hori n horizons and minds and also then there's, you know, the delegations, and you find out about how workers are being treated in other countries. but it is interesting too, that this global kind of organizing and reaching out is happening and in other sectors as well. and steel workers and mexican steel workers and there is these international solidarity campaigns going on. nissan workers. in the south. and in mississippi. and getting support from the south african workers and their organizing campaign. and so this kind of thing, is incredibly important and it expands minds.
is it a point where we can, you know, tip the balance of forces. it is getting there and there is a lot of things people have to confront. like, you know, like ideas of, you know, war and peace and being number -- this all -- you know, ideas of america being number one in the world. or whatever. so it is a lot of things get involved into it. that's it. >> elce? >> thank you. >> in our country we have a long history of a lack of racial equity, real equity gp and racial divisions. tell us what you think. the impact of the fight for 15, support for wal-mart workers is having on racial unity.
both in the labor movement as well as the community. >> i think the campaigns, both esh i esh ish ice of race and class and gender. that's important in the 21st century.ice of race and class a gender. that's important in the 21st century. to have campaigns and people on the bases and you look around the world and you know, there are people of color who are making minimum wages. there are people of color who are working and dehumanitarianizing situations. there are people of color who are standing up with others across our communities fighting together on these issues. because the central issue is wages. dignity. respect. and those issues cross racial lines. it brings people together from all across the country and all
across the world. and if you look at the fight for 15 campaign in the campaign, the amount of those workers are workers of color. those workers are also women. who are heads of household, trying to support their families. but there are quite a few of whites who are also living in those same conditions. and these campaigns have brought all of these groups together. and unified them against one common enemy and that enemy is big capital regardless of its wal-mart, amazon or young products or disney or whom ever. it has brought people together. we all understand, i think one important thing, that this is a global fight. and we are fighting against global capital. and as like african-americans, as whites, as asians, as women, as gays, we all are fighting
this fight together. and i think that that's one unifying factor. and you see that all over the world. you see our brothers and sisters in brazil, standing up against global capital, who is destroying their communities for these games. so this is going on all around the world. and as someone had mentioned, about social media and how social media brought us all together, and in realtime we can tell our stories, and i think that's what's really important, and if we look at the esh us of race and class and we fight these issues together, against our common enemy, and i need you to know who our common enemy is. >> thank you. >> okay. last question. it's so rasheen and howard.
what is the response to the labor movement of this rising up of low-wage workers a and what significance does it have for the future of the labor movement? >> most people in the labor movement who have been in it before, who knew what the labor movement was, have been with the fast-food workers, like this is what is next in labor movement p. this is what will get and this is what will get a lot of the old people up off their butts and moving. >> i also know that, like she said, people have been trying to organize fast-food for a while. so for it finally to be happening and finally have changes coming and you know, cities eventually getting 15, we still want that union so don't forget about it. it is something that labor movements are like, hmmm, is this a new style of organized or is this the new avenue or new group of people we need to be